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Author Topic: Unpopular Beach Boys opinions  (Read 134950 times)
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« Reply #1400 on: March 13, 2018, 05:58:16 PM »

Hopefully this don't just sound like i'm coming from a place of arrogance but since i'm in my 20s I don't think the level of coolness or sales for our favourite bands back in the 60s means very much anymore does it? It's all dinosaur music at this point. Wink

I think in this day and age it's just wonderful to have all that incredible music out there from The Beach Boys OUT THERE for everyone to listen too. Looking back, despite everything else losing Carl at a young age is by far the biggest tragedy in the BB story in the last 35 years.

Also just look at how different The Beach Boys reputation is now.. I mean, just over 20 years ago the Beach Boys were recording the crap tastic Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 and being used as backing singers for Status Quo on UK tv! Ugh. Their musical reputation has never been more acclaimed than it is now. I've seen/met a lot of younger people that like the Beach Boys. Despite Mike Love's endless touring jukebox, it is largely Brian Wilson that the critics and music fans think of when they think of classic Beach Boys. Although that could largely be the influence of a million indie bands who worship at the church of Brian. Not to mention that the '67-'73 material + Love You + Pacific Ocean Blue have grown a hell of a lot in stature too. Plus of course the SMiLE and PET SOUNDS related projects have received rapturous acclaim and attention from music fans the world over.

There is still a lot of love and appreciation for the group that's become even more apparent in the 21st century, the 50th anniversary, the Love & Mercy film and BBC 'God Only Knows' release confirms that The Beach Boys will only increasingly be looked back upon as in the top tier of 'classic pop/rock' music of the last 50+ years. A similar situation to other uncool bands of the sixties like The Kinks and The Monkees whose reputation has only grown also. All the band politics stuff, gets washed away when you listen to 'Good Vibrations', 'All Summer Long' or 'Holland' or whatever. Listening to The Stones or The Who in 2018 is hardly a million miles less cool than listening to The Beach Boys at this point in time. Wink

Thank god (and the Beach Boys) for making all that fantastic music! RIP to Carl and Denny. Long live Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Blondie Chaplin ect. Keep creating that wonderful life-affirming music guys, especially Brian!

You're right, Sam, and I had an epiphany just yesterday. I was getting a drink in my fav bar and suddenly there came "I Get Around" on the radio (actually TV playing radio). I risked a "Listen to the great Beach Boys!" and to my delight everybody present including the barmen, people from at least three generations, nodded and even commented favourably.
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« Reply #1401 on: March 13, 2018, 07:05:03 PM »

Hopefully this don't just sound like i'm coming from a place of arrogance but since i'm in my 20s I don't think the level of coolness or sales for our favourite bands back in the 60s means very much anymore does it? It's all dinosaur music at this point. Wink

I think in this day and age it's just wonderful to have all that incredible music out there from The Beach Boys OUT THERE for everyone to listen too. Looking back, despite everything else losing Carl at a young age is by far the biggest tragedy in the BB story in the last 35 years.

Also just look at how different The Beach Boys reputation is now.. I mean, just over 20 years ago the Beach Boys were recording the crap tastic Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 and being used as backing singers for Status Quo on UK tv! Ugh. Their musical reputation has never been more acclaimed than it is now. I've seen/met a lot of younger people that like the Beach Boys. Despite Mike Love's endless touring jukebox, it is largely Brian Wilson that the critics and music fans think of when they think of classic Beach Boys. Although that could largely be the influence of a million indie bands who worship at the church of Brian. Not to mention that the '67-'73 material + Love You + Pacific Ocean Blue have grown a hell of a lot in stature too. Plus of course the SMiLE and PET SOUNDS related projects have received rapturous acclaim and attention from music fans the world over.

There is still a lot of love and appreciation for the group that's become even more apparent in the 21st century, the 50th anniversary, the Love & Mercy film and BBC 'God Only Knows' release confirms that The Beach Boys will only increasingly be looked back upon as in the top tier of 'classic pop/rock' music of the last 50+ years. A similar situation to other uncool bands of the sixties like The Kinks and The Monkees whose reputation has only grown also. All the band politics stuff, gets washed away when you listen to 'Good Vibrations', 'All Summer Long' or 'Holland' or whatever. Listening to The Stones or The Who in 2018 is hardly a million miles less cool than listening to The Beach Boys at this point in time. Wink

Thank god (and the Beach Boys) for making all that fantastic music! RIP to Carl and Denny. Long live Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Blondie Chaplin ect. Keep creating that wonderful life-affirming music guys, especially Brian!
. Good points. I guess for me I still feel The Beach Boys should get the level of respect and adulation the Beatles receive (and deserve, make no mistake). Sometimes I feel itís still an uphill battle, because I still feel I have to defend myself being a fan to people.
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« Reply #1402 on: March 14, 2018, 05:29:55 AM »

Hopefully this don't just sound like i'm coming from a place of arrogance but since i'm in my 20s I don't think the level of coolness or sales for our favourite bands back in the 60s means very much anymore does it? It's all dinosaur music at this point. Wink

I think in this day and age it's just wonderful to have all that incredible music out there from The Beach Boys OUT THERE for everyone to listen too. Looking back, despite everything else losing Carl at a young age is by far the biggest tragedy in the BB story in the last 35 years.

Also just look at how different The Beach Boys reputation is now.. I mean, just over 20 years ago the Beach Boys were recording the crap tastic Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 and being used as backing singers for Status Quo on UK tv! Ugh. Their musical reputation has never been more acclaimed than it is now. I've seen/met a lot of younger people that like the Beach Boys. Despite Mike Love's endless touring jukebox, it is largely Brian Wilson that the critics and music fans think of when they think of classic Beach Boys. Although that could largely be the influence of a million indie bands who worship at the church of Brian. Not to mention that the '67-'73 material + Love You + Pacific Ocean Blue have grown a hell of a lot in stature too. Plus of course the SMiLE and PET SOUNDS related projects have received rapturous acclaim and attention from music fans the world over.

There is still a lot of love and appreciation for the group that's become even more apparent in the 21st century, the 50th anniversary, the Love & Mercy film and BBC 'God Only Knows' release confirms that The Beach Boys will only increasingly be looked back upon as in the top tier of 'classic pop/rock' music of the last 50+ years. A similar situation to other uncool bands of the sixties like The Kinks and The Monkees whose reputation has only grown also. All the band politics stuff, gets washed away when you listen to 'Good Vibrations', 'All Summer Long' or 'Holland' or whatever. Listening to The Stones or The Who in 2018 is hardly a million miles less cool than listening to The Beach Boys at this point in time. Wink

Thank god (and the Beach Boys) for making all that fantastic music! RIP to Carl and Denny. Long live Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Blondie Chaplin ect. Keep creating that wonderful life-affirming music guys, especially Brian!
. Good points. I guess for me I still feel The Beach Boys should get the level of respect and adulation the Beatles receive (and deserve, make no mistake). Sometimes I feel itís still an uphill battle, because I still feel I have to defend myself being a fan to people.

This is likely another unpopular opinion, but I never really understood the longing for The Beach Boys to be as respected as their peers. 

Granted, I haven't been a fan as long as many of here, but I'll freely acknowledge that the height of The Beach Boys mass appeal was from 1962-66, at least in the States.   And that's fine. 
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« Reply #1403 on: March 14, 2018, 08:54:57 AM »

This isnít going to be productive unless I better explain myself, I donít think: I think I mustíve been unclear based on your responses. Since Iím at work and posting from my phone, thatís going to have to wait.

This has come to pass. Because itís off topic to a large extent, I put it in the General Music forum. Itís ďWise Beyond Your Ears,Ē if anyone feels like wasting time reading an over-long and probably still under-thought tome along the lines of our convo about context in music discussion/appreciation.
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« Reply #1404 on: March 14, 2018, 09:21:00 AM »

Hopefully this don't just sound like i'm coming from a place of arrogance but since i'm in my 20s I don't think the level of coolness or sales for our favourite bands back in the 60s means very much anymore does it? It's all dinosaur music at this point. Wink

How much the critical or commercial success or reputation of the band back in the 60s matters depends on where your interest in the band lies.

If you're just about listening to the music without any context and aren't particularly interested in their history, then of course that stuff doesn't matter too much.

But the critical outlook and commercial success of the band in the 60s (both the success and then lack of success) is VERY important to the history of the band.

If you become a fan 50 years later and just digest the entire band's catalog all at once (or relatively quickly), and then also don't care what critical and commercial ups and downs the band had at various points, then you're obviously not going to understand the huge amount of context that goes along with their music. It doesn't mean the music can't be enjoyed. But certainly, on a discussion board where we take some deep dives into the band and their history, all of the context matters very much.

The success, and then lack of success, by some measures that the band faced in the 60s also definitely helped to steer where their music went. In very broad, generalized strokes, we can see numerous points where seeming commercial failure led the band down a very different path than they would have otherwise taken. And *certainly*, we can see very direct ways in which the lack of critical or commercial success in the later era (particularly the 80s and 90s) HUGELY impacted the direction the band took, which was essentially to nearly stop functioning as an actual studio band, and take mainly to touring (and also forming their setlists based on the idea that nobody wanted to hear new stuff or deep cuts and would riot if they didn't hear "Barbara Ann.")

So, if the BBs weren't "cool" at some point in the 60s, or if they didn't have critical or commercial success, it isn't going to impact whether I personally like a given song or album. But it's all still *very* important in some very fundamental ways when it comes to studying the band.

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« Reply #1405 on: March 14, 2018, 11:43:06 PM »

This has turned into a fascinating discussion.

I think if Smile were released in 1967, it would have sold massively because of the hype and promotion it received. I mean, look at 15 Big Ones. It was super hyped, and it sold like crazy despite being mediocre at best. Whether it lived up to the hype is another question, but I find it hard to believe it wouldn't have been a big success.

However, music was still changing massively fast. I wonder how a completed Smile in 1967 would have impacted the rest of their career. Would Brian have fallen as deep into drugs? Would he have ceded control of the band? Would Carl and Dennis still have emerged as strong songwriters like they did in the late 1960s and into 1970s? These are fascinating questions to ponder.
Well, let's assume Smile did come out in '67 and sold well, as well as receiving universal acclaim.

How would Brian top that?

Sooner or later, things were going to fall apart. He pushed himself as far as he could go, and then made a left turn.

So yes, i think Dennis and Carl would still have emerged as songwriters someday.
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« Reply #1406 on: March 15, 2018, 06:20:16 AM »

Good point. Brian was under a ton of pressure from the label, from the rest of the band and from himself. He was bound for a collapse regardless of what happened with Smile. There's probably no scenario that saves Brian from his downward spiral.
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« Reply #1407 on: March 15, 2018, 11:26:11 PM »

Good point. Brian was under a ton of pressure from the label, from the rest of the band and from himself. He was bound for a collapse regardless of what happened with Smile. There's probably no scenario that saves Brian from his downward spiral.

Thank you. I thought it needed to be said.
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« Reply #1408 on: March 16, 2018, 05:37:03 AM »

I've probably posted this already, but I was inspired by a Tweet in Mike's birthday thread. 

Van Dyke Parks is the most overrated Beach Boys / Brian Wilson collaborator. 
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« Reply #1409 on: March 16, 2018, 06:28:05 AM »

This has turned into a fascinating discussion.

I think if Smile were released in 1967, it would have sold massively because of the hype and promotion it received. I mean, look at 15 Big Ones. It was super hyped, and it sold like crazy despite being mediocre at best. Whether it lived up to the hype is another question, but I find it hard to believe it wouldn't have been a big success.

However, music was still changing massively fast. I wonder how a completed Smile in 1967 would have impacted the rest of their career. Would Brian have fallen as deep into drugs? Would he have ceded control of the band? Would Carl and Dennis still have emerged as strong songwriters like they did in the late 1960s and into 1970s? These are fascinating questions to ponder.
Well, let's assume Smile did come out in '67 and sold well, as well as receiving universal acclaim.

How would Brian top that?

Sooner or later, things were going to fall apart. He pushed himself as far as he could go, and then made a left turn.

So yes, i think Dennis and Carl would still have emerged as songwriters someday.



I agree.  If SMiLE has come out, the trajectory of the band moving forward may have been similar to reality.  It would have taken a lot out of Brian, and perhaps he would have backed off, taken a deep breath, still record looser material like Wild Honey, and let others take the reins.  How would you have toured SMiLE back then?  I don't think the Beach Boys could have followed the Beatles' example of just being studio musicians.

 
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« Reply #1410 on: March 16, 2018, 08:27:18 AM »

It's so hard to speculate on this because so many things would have by definition been different.

If the band had finished and released Smile, Brian would not have had all the exhaustion and difficulties he did have. Why do I say that confidently? Because those are the reasons he didn't finish and release it. So if there is less group frustration, less Brian insecurity and uncertainty, who knows what comes next?

Can the band tour Smile? Sure. They can't tour it note-for-note with the album arrangements, but they could incorporate some songs into their set list just like they did later, or just like they did with other songs they were already touring with live-band-friendly arrangements, such as the material from Pet Sounds, etc. And it's not as if they were doing full-album tours, so there's no need to worry about Cabinessence or Our Prayer. H&V, GV, maybe Wonderful or Wind Chimes ... that's pretty much all you need, considering you've already got almost more hits than you can play any given set anyway.

Now, that doesn't mean they would have continued in the vein of Smile. That doesn't mean the developing skills of Al, Dennis and Carl, or the the talents of Bruce, wouldn't still have demanded some space on future albums. So ... what does that look like? A less broken Brian with an increasingly strong group around him? Who knows? Maybe it doesn't work and they break up sooner than later.

But I don't think there's much a person can say without first admitting we're in fantasyland.
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« Reply #1411 on: March 16, 2018, 09:00:02 AM »

If 'Smile' had been released in '67, it would have bombed commercially nearly as badly as did 'Smiley Smile'. It might have gotten some rave notices, but rock criticism then was still in its infancy.
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« Reply #1412 on: March 16, 2018, 10:37:03 AM »

I think the Smiley Smile/7" release of Heroes and Villains is superior to the version he edited together in early 1967. I couldn't imagine that one charting at all.
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« Reply #1413 on: March 16, 2018, 12:53:15 PM »

I think the Smiley Smile/7" release of Heroes and Villains is superior to the version he edited together in early 1967. I couldn't imagine that one charting at all.

Even though I love both versions, I have to admit I find it hard to see how the earlier version would've done all that well either. It has to recognizable chorus to speak of, and it truly is all over the place. I personally think it's a work of genius, but it is really out there.

Whereas with the single (later issued on Smiley Smile) you had the recognizable chorus and whatnot, and I think that helped it be pretty successful. I find it odd that some people were disappointed with it's showing on the charts. Sure, it was number 1, but a number 12 is still higher ranking than "Surfin' Safari", "Little Deuce Coupe" and "In My Room", not to mention others.
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« Reply #1414 on: March 18, 2018, 01:10:42 PM »

It's so hard to speculate on this because so many things would have by definition been different.

If the band had finished and released Smile, Brian would not have had all the exhaustion and difficulties he did have. Why do I say that confidently? Because those are the reasons he didn't finish and release it. So if there is less group frustration, less Brian insecurity and uncertainty, who knows what comes next?

Can the band tour Smile? Sure. They can't tour it note-for-note with the album arrangements, but they could incorporate some songs into their set list just like they did later, or just like they did with other songs they were already touring with live-band-friendly arrangements, such as the material from Pet Sounds, etc. And it's not as if they were doing full-album tours, so there's no need to worry about Cabinessence or Our Prayer. H&V, GV, maybe Wonderful or Wind Chimes ... that's pretty much all you need, considering you've already got almost more hits than you can play any given set anyway.

Now, that doesn't mean they would have continued in the vein of Smile. That doesn't mean the developing skills of Al, Dennis and Carl, or the the talents of Bruce, wouldn't still have demanded some space on future albums. So ... what does that look like? A less broken Brian with an increasingly strong group around him? Who knows? Maybe it doesn't work and they break up sooner than later.

But I don't think there's much a person can say without first admitting we're in fantasyland.
I think Brian would still have been exhausted, drained, depressed upon completing Smile in 67 - especially if his masterwork bombed commercially. Pet Sounds is a considered a commercial flop, yet it made it to #10. What if Smile had peaked at #44 like SS?
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« Reply #1415 on: March 21, 2018, 12:38:47 AM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.
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« Reply #1416 on: March 24, 2018, 04:29:45 AM »

"Cabin Essence" lyrics may be the best lyrics in BBs' catalog. Really cool blend with music/ vocals, very unique & exquisite word choice.
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« Reply #1417 on: March 24, 2018, 04:06:59 PM »

Giving song low rating due to it being "out of place" "within context" doesn't make any sense & is very misguided. It's been said at PS "Discuss BBs Songs" thread by many, especially monolithic/ Nicko1234. What's the entire album got to do with its individual songs discussed daily? Brow If song is good, you like it, what's the problem?
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« Reply #1418 on: March 24, 2018, 04:09:57 PM »

Cabin Essence is my all time favourite Beach Boys song.  Made 20/20 a 10/10.
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« Reply #1419 on: March 24, 2018, 04:16:38 PM »

Cabin Essence is my all time favourite Beach Boys song.  Made 20/20 a 10/10.
Yep. 3D
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« Reply #1420 on: March 24, 2018, 11:11:28 PM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.
I definitely agree.
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« Reply #1421 on: March 25, 2018, 01:53:42 AM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.
I definitely agree.

So you guys don't like Surf's Up? Wonderful? Huh
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« Reply #1422 on: March 25, 2018, 05:57:30 AM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.
I definitely agree.

What?!?!?    Shocked

You DON'T like Surf's Up?  Brow

---------------------------
And NOTHING from the Orange Crate Art album?  Not even 1 song?
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« Reply #1423 on: March 25, 2018, 08:38:50 AM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.
I definitely agree.

So you guys don't like Surf's Up? Wonderful? Huh

Just because you don't like VDP lyrics doesn't mean you don't like the song. I don't like his lyrics either but I love all those songs. It's always nice to get good lyrics, but the music is far far more important.
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« Reply #1424 on: March 25, 2018, 01:29:29 PM »

Other than Heroes & Villains, Cabin Essence & Vegetables which I love, I'm not a fan of the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks.

Who's lyrics would you be a fan of then? Mike Love's? Roger's, Jack's, Tony's, Joe's or Brian's? Could you imagine Love getting ahold of the Smile music twisting it into beach party material or turning Pet Sounds into a mahavegetarian rock opera?  Shocked Shocked Shocked
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